Bates’ registration system is designed to be quick, easy, and to allow for the greatest possible access to courses for all students while maintaining the quality of the classroom experience.

Registration Overview

Students begin registration by reviewing the Schedule of Courses, found in the Garnet Gateway, selecting courses, and then meeting with their advisor to discuss course options. They then enter their course selections into the Garnet Gateway during registration week using the “Register or Add/Drop Courses” link. For courses with no enrollment limits, the only further action for students is to attend the course on the first day it meets. Some courses at Bates are limited in enrollment so that students may use special facilities or to allow for a small interactive classroom environment. For these courses, the system is designed so students have several opportunities to gain entry.

Courses with enrollment limits

The majority of spaces available in courses with limited enrollment are assigned to students by a computerized randomization process run at the end of registration week. Faculty may indicate to the Registrar that they want a “class mix” so that the course has a specified number of spaces reserved for students by class year. Otherwise, all students have equal opportunity to gain entry during randomization. The system is not designed so that some students gain entry into all courses requested and some into none based on a priority number or a “first come, first served” system. The likelihood of gaining entry into each course is based on the number of students who are currently requesting the course. If a student gains entry through randomization, the student is considered registered for the course.


A few spaces in each course are reserved for students to request entry by submitting a written petition to the instructor. This allows students who want or need a course, but who did not gain entry through randomization, to express their desire to gain entry directly to the instructor.

Registration Adjustments (add/drop)

If the petition process is not successful, students should keep checking the Garnet Gateway and may add the course if space becomes available. Students are encouraged to attend a desired course on the first day of class in the event that other students have dropped the course. At this point the faculty member may grant the student permission to gain entry and a petition form is not necessary.

Registration Procedures

Registration occurs in January/February for off-campus Short Term courses, March for the fall semester and on-campus Short Term courses and in November for the winter semester. Specific dates are listed in the Bates College Catalog. A few weeks prior to registration, a Schedule of Courses for the upcoming semester may be viewed on the Garnet Gateway. This schedule of courses lists courses, instructors, class meeting times, enrollment limits and room assignments. The Bates Catalog on the Garnet Gateway system includes course descriptions, prerequisites, and additional course information.

To prepare for registration, students review course offerings in the Schedule of Courses and build a preliminary schedule. Some find it helpful to complete a course selection worksheet. All students must with their advisor before or during registration week. The advisor then releases the advisor hold and the student may then web register for his or her course preferences using the “Register or Add/Drop Courses” page in the Garnet Gateway .

When entering course preferences, error messages may appear. They include time conflicts, failure to meet the prerequisite requirement, failure to select a required linked discussion or laboratory section, etc. Any error students encounter when web registering their course preferences is corrected by either dropping the course or by obtaining faculty member’s permission. Students seek exceptions by meeting with the course instructor who may grant approval by applying an override to the student’s record. After this occurs, the student again web registers for the course and no error message should appear.

All students must register by the deadline listed in the Catalog.Otherwise, they must pay a late fee and in some cases petition the Academic Standing Committee. Exceptions are made only for those students studying away or on a leave of absence during registration. These students email their advisor to discuss course preferences and to request that the advisor remove the advising hold so they may access the Garnet Gateway system to register. Students located in an area without access to the web should contact Student Affairs for information on using a proxy to process registration and to submit any petitions, if needed, on the student’s behalf. Proxies deliver course information from the student abroad to the Registrar’s office for registration. Proxies may not access the Garnet Gateway for the student who is away.

What is optimization?

The schedule of courses lists an enrollment limit for some courses. In addition, some courses have a specified number of spaces reserved for students by class year. Students may web register for up to 4 courses with limited enrollment during the week of registration. On the last day of registration week, a computerized program randomly fills these courses with the names of students who requested entry, leaving a small number of spaces open for petitioning. The order in which students register has no bearing on whether or not the student gains entry into the course. Faculty may monitor class rosters using the Garnet Gateway.

Students check their web schedule following optimization and carefully review the course status for each course. Each course status is either “web registered,” and no further action is required by the student, or “eligible to petition.” The student may choose to submit a petition to the instructor of the course by clicking on the “Petition” button and submitting the petition within the petition period.

Faculty review petitions during the second week following registration, send petitions of students selected for entry to the Registrar and Academic Systems office, and the staff registers the selected students. Students may then view their schedule using the Garnet Gateway system to determine whether or not their petition was successful. If selected, the course now shows the status “registered.” If not selected, the status remains “eligible to petition.” Students with this “EP” status in a course receive priority for entry during optimization in future semesters if they again attempt to gain entry into the same course. After petitioning week, however, the registration adjustment (add/drop) period begins and students no longer use petitions to gain entry into courses.

Registration Adjustment – Add/drop period

After the full 3 weeks of the registration cycle is completed, the Garnet Gateway system is available for students to make course adjustments. Students may add or drop a course on a space available basis until the legislated deadlines included in the Bates Catalog.If space becomes available in a course that a student was “eligible to petition” for following randomization, the student needs to first drop the “EP” course from his or her schedule and may then re-register for the course.  Note:  per faculty legislation, after the first 5 class days of the semester, instructor permission is required for students to add any course for the remainder of the registration adjustment period (an additional 5 class days).

First Day of Classes

Students not in attendance the first class meeting of a course in a semester may be dropped from the course by the instructor. Faculty may submit names of those not in attendance to the Registrar and Academic Systems office through the first day email. This is optional, however, so students should not rely on a faculty member to drop them for nonattendance. If a student cannot attend the first day of class, the student should contact the instructor or Student Affairs. Students are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their schedule and may access the Garnet Gateway at any time to confirm their course schedule. If an incorrect course appears on the student’s schedule, the student corrects it either on the Garnet Gateway or, if needed, by coming to the Registrar and Academic Systems office for assistance.

Help is available from the Registrar and Academic Systems Office

The Registrar and Academic Systems office is located in Libbey Forum. Service specialists are available from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and we can assist students with the Garnet Gateway system or answer questions about registration. Students on campus should come to the office rather than call with requests for information. The Registrar and Associate Registrar have regular office hours for students to schedule appointments to review their academic record and answer questions about progress towards the degree and general education as well as assist with registration matters.

We hope this overview has explained the registration system. If you have any questions the Registrar and Academic Systems office is happy to provide additional assistance.

Updated  8/18